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Psalm 51

June 4, 2009

This is perhaps the most famous and popular psalm of David because it records his confession and repentance, a request for God’s mercy, regarding his sin with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah. We are all sinners and this psalm teaches us the way to seek forgiveness from God. Concerning the subject and importance of repenting and being forgiven, this psalm and Psalm 38 are required reading for study and meditation.

This psalm is very clear in its’ meaning, transparent and revealing. Interpretation is not needed so I’ll only mention what I consider to be highlights. David asks for mercy knowing that God is love. He recognizes that only God has the ability to forgive him and wash away his sin. David recognizes that his sin will always be remembered by him even though he has been washed clean and God has hidden his sin. God is the rightful judge because David has sinned against God. David acknowledges he is unworthy as well as guilty and that God has the power to grant him mercy, forgive him, and restore him. God desires truthful hearts; soft hearts, hearts that acknowledge sin has been committed. Only then are we teachable and trainable in God’s ways and God’s wisdom. True repentance coupled with God’s forgiveness restores our fleshly bodies, and rejuvenates us. Repentance frees us to be what God wants us to be. We are given a pure heart, a correct attitude, filled with the Holy Spirit, joy, and a willingness to obey God.

But one’s repentance and seeking mercy and forgiveness from God is not the end of being restored. It is the beginning. Note David’s commitment to tell others of God’s forgiveness and telling others who have sinned to turn to God. True repentance brings forgiveness and with it a changed heart, a heart for sinners, a heart that others will also be restored, a heart to do God’s will. True repentance results in a heart that praises God, a heart that is humble. True repentance results in the Lord’s blessing. The Lord blesses those who are humble.

The sacrifice that God desires is a humble heart. Sacrifices were made in the temple but they were meaningless if not accompanied with a humble heart.

Humble yourself before the Lord, ask for His mercy, and seek His forgiveness. Let Him restore you and give you joy. Then go forth and praise His name to others in humble adoration and worship to the Lord God Almighty who loves us and desires to bless us.

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